Brexit: A non-UK standpoint

Is Brexit really the stand we want to take in a divided world? Why another referendum could be our chance to speak up for a stronger Europe.

I am bad at small talk. At parties, I usually make myself unpopular by talking about serious issues way too early in the night. The other night, I tried to talk to people about Brexit and they just shut me down and immediately changed the topic. People are fed up with it, they don’t want to hear about it anymore. But to me, Brexit is personal.

I am German and I live in Bristol. This city is my home, I don’t plan on moving back anytime soon. A lot of my friends live here, my life is here. But Brexit has made me feel unwelcome in my own home.

It is not so much about being afraid of getting kicked out of the country. There are other ways to stay. It’s about England openly saying that they don’t want to be part of the community that I am part of: openly rejecting the idea that we are all part of the same institution.

One of the first things I do in the morning is check the news on Brexit. Lately, the possibility of another referendum has dominated the media. More and more politicians are voicing their opinion on another people’s vote – the latest being Labour frontbencher Emily Thornberry. If the MPs vote against a Brexit deal, a new referendum is still a possibility, she says.

While the government has agreed on most of the issues regarding Brexit, the complications around the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland are yet to be solved. This comes to show just how split Europe will be after the UK leaves.

I believe that the European Union is about more than just politics and money. I believe that it helps keep peace in a continent that has been busy internally fighting pretty much from the very beginning. What kind of message do we want to send to a world that is already divided? Between Trump and the right growing in popularity, there is no room left for a split Europe. Instead, we should unite and take a stand against hatred.

Living in England, I have noticed that the British do not always feel like they are part of Europe. They talk about what “the Europeans” do, as if they were completely separate from the UK. If another referendum becomes real, I would hope that people keep the notion of a united Europe in mind. I would not be able to vote myself, but I will make sure to annoy as many people as possible at parties with my talk of a united Europe.

words by Clara Bullock

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